Tutorial: Make a Color Swatch in Photoshop Elements
using a Color Table :
I love to match the colors of my photos with my patterned papers. And with the power of Photoshop Elements it is so easy and fun to do this. This tutorial will demonstrate how to make a fast and easy custom color swatch in Photoshop Elements using colors from your photos.
Open up the picture you would like to work with. The photo I will be working on is a 5x7 200dpi photo.
The Color Swatch palette can be viewed by clicking on Window>Color Swatch (make sure there is a check mark by the Color Swatch to keep it open on your work space.)
I want a fast and easy color swatch made and want Photoshop Elements to do the work for me.
With my photo open we will set an "Index Range of Colors". Click on Image > Mode > Indexed Color
When the Indexed Color dialog appears, change the settings to Local (perceptual), color- 256, tick the transparency box, change dither to none. Click on ok.
To save the Palette of colors, click on Image>Mode>color Table.
Now you will see the colors that were automatically picked from your picture. If you had just wanted the green shades. You could easily crop the picture to just have the greens. Then run the above steps.
Click Save and type a name. Photoshop Elements will automatically add an .act extension. Save to a folder that you have your custom swatches saved in.
I have a folder on my hard drive that is called "Swatches". I will save all my customs swatches here and will back these up monthly. Remember where you save this file. You will need to load it soon and need to find it again :) .
You can close the Color Table box by clicking ok after you have saved it.
To use your saved colors, open up your color swatch (if you have not done so already). Window >Swatches.
Click on More and then Load color swatches.
Remember that PSE gave it the .act extension, so click on the drop down list of file types and click on Color Table.
Click on the swatch you just names and load it. You made have to change to the folder you saved your file to.
Like magic you now have a color swatch will all the various color combinations from your photo.
To use your new color swatch to make a paper. Open up a new image. I am making a 12in x 12in paper 200dpi. Click OK.
Click on your paint bucket tool
Make sure forground color is picked.
Click in the set foreground box
Click on the color you want to use in your color palette.
You will notice that you foreground color changes to this. Then click in your new document and you will get a paper in the color you want. Now you can play with textures and brushes to make some fun background papers.
*Helpful hint* Reset your Color Index range to RBG after you have finished this. Image > Mode > RBG Color. This will just make it easier the next time you need to make a "indexed color".
Another way to make custom Swatches is explained in my tutorial "Making a Custom Color Swatch Using the Color Picker Tool"